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Help the First Responders Help You
April 27, 2023
The Merriam-Webster definition of emergency is “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action; an urgent need for assistance or relief.” If you are in the midst of a severe medical emergency and you are by yourself, how will an emergency medical professional know your blood type, any medications you might be taking and the dosage, and if you have children or pets at home that need care if you become hospitalized or incapacitated?
For many of us, our cell phone never leaves our side. Since we so often have our phones on us, they can provide critical information in an emergency. Your phone can give emergency services a snapshot of your medical information to help you in case of an accident.
Both iPhones and Androids have medical apps that can store this information and can be accessed without a passcode. Many years ago, some people added a contact in their phones as “I.C.E.”—translated to “In Case of Emergency”—but how will a paramedic or hospital attendant be able to access your “I.C.E.” without a password to unlock your phone? The Medical ID and Health App are now able to provide first responders this vital information for your emergency medical care.
The Medical ID app allows you to store such things as:
• Emergency contact information
• Blood type
• Date of birth
• Height and weight
• Medical conditions that may be important to know
• Allergies and reactions
• Prescription medications and dosage information
• Any other important notes such as, “There are children and/or pets at home,” or, “I have a health care directive on file. Please contact my power of attorney for health care for information.”
To access your Medical ID on an iPhone, open the Health app and tap the Summary tab. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner, tap edit, and enter your health information. To make your Medical ID available from the lock screen on your iPhone, turn on Show When Locked.
To access your Medical ID on an Android, open the settings menu, go to the Safety and Emergency section, select Medical Information, and enter your health information. To make your Medical ID available from the lock screen on your Android, turn on Allow Access to Emergency Info.
The whiz-bang of everything digital these days may be challenging for the older generations even if they can see the value in doing this. You may want to sit with your older family members to go through this exercise together. This can foster conversations about what your family will do in the case of an emergency. This could then spark a conversation about estate planning and successor trustee assignments.
Your Sand Hill team is here to help facilitate these conversations should that be helpful to you and your family.
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